Discover the Diamond in the Rough for B2B Marketers

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Pinterest – it’s more than artisan recipes and silly cat photos

“We’re a B2B brand. We don’t fit in on a social media site like Pinterest.” “Isn’t it where people go to pin their favorite recipes and inspirational quotes?”

If you’re thinking this about your brand right now, stop! Cut your brand some slack. If you have customers, you have reason enough to be on Pinterest. Too many B2Bs assume their brands aren’t visual enough, but know this: you absolutely can be. And Pinterest is the place to do it.

So what is Pinterest and why should anyone care?

Pinterest is the world’s catalog of ideas. Its stated mission is to “help people discover the things they love and inspire them to go do those things in their daily lives.” In its basic form, Pinterest is a visual bookmarking site that connects others through the things they find “interesting.” By creating board(s), Pinterest users can organize and share things they find on the web. They also can browse boards created by other people and repin and comment on images. While many users are looking for their next Pinterest project, it’s also a serious place for businesses and marketers to get inspired and even expand awareness of their brands through content marketing. Don’t believe me?

According to Hootsuite, there are 150 million active users on Pinterest. Eighty-seven percent of those have purchased something they’ve seen there and 93 percent plan to do so. I won’t even get started about how Pinterest has a longer lifespan than Facebook and Twitter in that 50 percent of visits happen after 3.5 months of pinning. Not to mention it was recently the second largest driver of traffic from social media sites (next only to Facebook). So it’s kind of a big deal.

Despite these numbers, many companies are still on the fence about jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon. Businesses, including B2Bs, are able to educate customers, build a community and online presence, and create a unique platform to share content. So what’s holding your brand back?

What if my brand isn’t that visually appealing?

It is. You just need to identify your brand’s most visual content, which may be challenging to some B2Bs who are typically selling a product or service in an industry that isn’t that visual. While Pinterest may not work for everyone, here are a few ideas of content a B2B can share on Pinterest:        

  1. Repurpose existing visual content – Show your company culture by snapping a few photos from the company picnic, or from the last time your company was out volunteering. Only have those executive headshots? Create a “management” board and include bios for each person.

  2. Infographics – Everybody loves infographics. In fact, there are over 104 million search results on Google for the term “infographics.” If you’re not creating them, you should be. Not only are they a trendy way to visualize sometimes “boring” data, but they are an important part of a content strategy.

  3. Blog posts – Every B2B with a website should have a regularly updated blog with even more appealing images. This is an awesome opportunity for creating a Pinterest board. Simply pin each blog image and include a title and link back to the original post. Not only does this add visual content to your Pinterest page, it is also a great way to share your existing blog posts with a fresh new audience!

  4. Case studies/white papers – If you’ve written a case study or white paper, take a screen shot of the cover and add it to a board that features ebooks. If the cover isn’t very visual, make a point of giving it a better design to make it more Pinterest friendly! You can also link to a registration page. Not only does this interest potential customers, but it also sends them to a registration page for you to pick up leads and generate web traffic. 

  5. Products/services – Upload pictures of products your company offers. Even though there is a ton of consumer products on Pinterest already, people are still looking for B2B products.

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If you have the content, the visuals and the passion, then go for it! There’s no doubt you can turn Pinterest into a successful traffic-generating strategy for your business. If you're still questioning it, check out how big boys like Fed Ex, Hootsuite, and, yes, even WhiteSpace are using Pinterest to increase brand awareness and generate more traffic to their sites.

Of course, if Pinterest just isn’t for you, pick the communication platform that feels right for your business, whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter and do it really, really well instead. If you aren't sure, contact the communication gurus at WhiteSpace and we'll help you figure it out!

Are you a B2B business using Pinterest? Has it been worth your effort? Tell us about your approach in the comments.

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